Dr. Catherine Peterson is an Associate Professor of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri. She spoke about the safest and most effective way to decide what dietary supplements you should be taking – if any at all.
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Dr. Catherine Peterson: Individuals can choose to take dietary supplements on their own, they do not need a health care provider in order to recommend them. Although, it’s probably not a bad idea, but it’s not required.
But I would recommend that anyone wishing to take a dietary supplement, especially if the particular dietary supplement [is something other] than a traditional vitamin, mineral or protein, that they do their homework. They are not really regulated by the FDA, so the burden is really on the individual to be their own advocate.
Firstly, they need to research the actual dietary supplement they want to take – whether it can an herbal or something marketed as a dietary supplement. They need to find out about that particular compound or even substance and research to see first, does it do anything? Is it efficacious, within other words.
I would also do a little study around the brand or the manufacturer from whom you’re choosing to purchase that dietary supplement. So, there are lots of resources out there. For example, one of my favorites is t he Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center . They have a wonderful encyclopedia, if you will, of just about any diet supplement available.
“Foods always come first. Ideally, you need to be able to get all of the particular nutrients that will you need, and I’m talking about traditional nutrients: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water. ”
Dr . Catherine Peterson
Look it up alphabetically; it will give you not only what the research will be on how effective it is, it’ll give you the safety profile. It’ll tell you about interactions that they may have with other supplements or drugs.
What I recommend is what we call the savvy approach in order to supplementation. Meals first. Foods always arrive first. Ideally, you ought to be able to get all associated with the nutrients that a person need, plus I’m speaking about traditional nutrition: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water. Those are the six classifications of nutrients. So , food first.
With regard to nutrients that you cannot get through meals, for whatever reason, say for example , you are lactose intolerant. That may mean, for you, dairy is very difficult to get in, plus dairy is the best source of calcium, or maybe the most abundant source of calcium mineral in the particular American diet. Therefore , you’ve got dairy off your table. So now, how are you going to obtain your calcium supplement?
Well, then you may want in order to go to – the second step would be fortification; you can find foods that have been fortified. So for example, there’s orange juice that’s been fortified with calcium. Thus, someone who doesn’t drink milk could use orange juice that is prepared with calcium supplements to meet their calcium.
If that will doesn’t work, then we start referring to supplementation. As to a multivitamin or multimineral preparation, most of the research that I’ve read kind of says, “Eh, I don’t think it does much. ” Some associated with the analysis that has looked at longevity or susceptibility to illness for people getting multivitamins really haven’t seen any benefit — not really any harm — but not any advantage.
So, that’s sort of my usual take on use of dietary supplements for conventional nutrients. First food, then fortification and then supplement for those who cannot get it through those other means.